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galapagosislands.com: Payment and credit card security

Leeds, United...
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19 posts
131 reviews
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galapagosislands.com: Payment and credit card security

So far galapagosislands.com has been extremely attentive and responded quickly to my enquiries. They have been able to find an 8 day cruise on a boat I am happy with and for the dates I require. All this has happened within 7 days for a cruise which is due to start on 6th April 2013.

I am willing to pay the 4% surcharge for service fees (although I consider it a bit excessive). I am in UK & my payment options are credit card or bank transfer to a Miami bank.

I am willing to pay by credit card for the security of Visa/Mastercard in any dispute. However the credit card requirements are quoted verbatim:

"To make payment with your credit card we use a document called Signature on File. Request this form from your Trip Advisor. This form requires credit card information and the credit card holder’s signature. It must be signed and sent back to your Trip Advisor via email (scanned) or via fax.

Accompanying this form you must also send a copy of the credit card (front and back) and a clear copy of the credit card holder’s passport.

Galapagos Travel Center / Galapagosislands.com will keep all information confidential; this information is used to send to the bank for the transaction."

I have just sent them this message: "I have sent credit card information overseas in the past but NEVER been asked for photocopy of passport and copy of front and back of credit card (including the 3 digit security code). This is akin to handing over my credit card to someone and asking them to raid my account! PAYPAL is secure. Are you able to use this?"

Has anybody ever paid by credit card in the manner they require AND had no subsequent unauthorised deductions made from the same credit card.

What are your opinions on this? It is NOT the way I would usually do overseas credit card transactions!!!!

Bristol, United...
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850 posts
11 reviews
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1. Re: galapagosislands.com: Payment and credit card security

I have had to do this when dealing with a photographic supplier in New York.

The problem is they cannot security check your address if you are overseas. You could be anyone using a credit card number you got from the Internet. Since they are not sending anything to your address, you are not signing a credit card slip and they haven't seen your card, if the genuine card holder later complained the credit card company would take the money back.

4% is quite reasonable for Galapagos. The card companies charge merchants a fee to accept them. If they are just getting comission on the cruise sale then its harder to just swallow the 4% as it represents a significant portion of their share.

I don't know if they accept PayPal - probably not because there is no security for the seller - PayPal can accept any credit card without doing proper checks and then if it goes wrong they claim the money back from the seller. They also charge higher fees and currency fees too.

I normally pay by wire transfer for Galapagos but then I do a lot of business with China so I am used to doing business this way.

Dave Peters

DP Software

Leeds, United...
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19 posts
131 reviews
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2. Re: galapagosislands.com: Payment and credit card security

Thanks Dave. Galapagosislands.com have now responded with a PayPal option.

Seattle, WA
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175 posts
28 reviews
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3. Re: galapagosislands.com: Payment and credit card security

I had a similar credit card request with a Spanish rental car company this summer. No probelms with subsequent deductions.

I have had other breaches on my visa though, random charges around the US. My credit card company is very good at blocking charges. When I go on a trip out of the US I need to notify visa, otherwise they block the charges. I imagine your credit card company runs similar algothrims as part of fraud prevention, therefore reducing the risk of further charges.

I was quoted a 6% credit card fee from the company I booked with - so opted to wire instead.

4. Re: galapagosislands.com: Payment and credit card security

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